After Tooth Extraction


Do not disturb the wound

Bleeding, irritation, and infection may become worse if you disturb the area worked on.  Leave the gauze packs in place for at least one hour before removing them.  If you are still bleeding, put new gauze in for another hour with constant, firm pressure.  Avoid swishing liquids, spitting, and sucking for 24 hours.



Smoking slows the healing process and will increase the chance of having post-operative complications.  Do not smoke for one week following surgery.



Some bleeding or oozing is normal after tooth extraction.  If you are bleeding a lot, rinse your mouth once with cold water to see where the bleeding is originating from, then place a new gauze on the area using firm pressure for one hour.  You can also try using a damp black tea bag as an alternative to the gauze.  Keep your head elevated with pillows, and keep your activity to a minimum for the first two days.



Swelling usually increases for 2 or 3 days.  Ice packs are used ON for 20 min. then OFF for 20 min, then repeated all through the first day.  After the first day, apply moist heat to stimulate healing. 


Pain and Discomfort

Some swelling, soreness, stiffness, restricted jaw movement, and oozing are expected after surgery.  Pain medicine is supposed to make the pain tolerable, not to take away all of the pain completely.  Dr. Young recommends taking 500mg of Tylenol along with 800mg of ibuprophen (Motrin or Advil) every six hours for the first three days after your treatment, then as needed in the following days.  For the majority of patients this is adequate.  If you are still experiencing discomfort, you may substitute a narcotic such as Vicodin or Norco in place of the Tylenol.  Continue to take the ibuprophen even if you switch to the narcotic.


Mouth Rinses

Warm salt water rinses help to clean the wound, reduce swelling, and speed healing.  Starting the day after surgery, rinse gently every 2 or 3 hours during the day.



Continue to eat a healthy diet during your recovery, but keep the food away from the area we worked on.  Bland, non-spicy foods are best during the first week.



Take all medications only as directed.  If taking prescription pain medicine do not drive, operate machinery, or supervise children until the effects have worn off.


If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at Grass Valley Office Phone Number 530-272-4254.